This commentary on the Book of Psalms was easily one of the most acclaimed in the original EBC commentary series. Many rate it one of the best on Psalms for pastors while scholars can’t deny its expertise, so it was wise for the publishers to ask Mr. VanGemeren to update his earlier work to extend its life for another generation of pastors.
Though it is not a major revision, the Introduction gives a great overview of the Book of Psalms. The author begins by seeing the place of the Psalms in the life of Israel, and then wisely describes the Psalms as both our word to God and God’s Word to us. That’s an outstanding way to think about the Psalms! Next, he gets into the nuts and bolts of Psalms. That includes a discussion of Hebrew poetry, its use of parallelism, and literary analysis. From there, he dives into the forms and the formation of the Psalter. That includes a breakdown of the types of Psalms, his thoughts on editorial shaping of the Psalms, and doing a holistic reading of the Psalter. In discussing themes, he highlights the names of God, the perfections of God, the acts of God, the hope of redemption and righteousness, the kingdom of God, the Davidic Messiah, and wisdom from above. After a brief section on composition, he gets into structure. That requires going deeper in some of the subjects like parallelism and other literary devices that were brought up earlier. All told, he covers 16 of these literary devices. He reviews literary genre and discusses praise, lament, and other types of Psalms like enthronement, wisdom, and other miscellaneous types. There’s a quite helpful discussion of Psalm titles including people, background, and musical information. There’s a bibliography and outline before he begins the commentary.
The commentary includes the text, verse by verse commentary, and exegetical notes. At key places, there are sections called reflections that go deeper into repeated themes. The commentary itself is superb. I’ve used and loved the old edition for years, and am glad to have this revised edition for the years ahead. They’ve even made the font larger and dedicated the whole of volume 5 for this one outstanding commentary on the Book of Psalms.
Pastors, the hype matches reality! This is a great commentary for you. Don’t miss it!
I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.